Tarpon Springs Neck Pain Doctor
In a world where many spend the majority of their time hunched over a computer, it is not surprising that neck pain is so pervasive. Sitting in such a position for long periods is just one of many risk factors for neck pain. So is sleeping in an odd position or watching too much TV.
While not quite as common as back pain, which affects almost everyone at some time in life, about two-thirds of the population will eventually suffer from neck pain.
If you are suffering neck pain for more than a few weeks, you should contact a skilled doctor for a consultation. A Tarpon Springs neck pain doctor can diagnose the source of your neck pain and recommend appropriate treatment.
The neck, also known as the cervical spine, is where the spinal cord and spinal column begins. The neck starts at the skull base and consists of seven vertebrae – known as C1 through C7 – connecting it to the upper back.
Between each vertebra are disks to protect the neck from shocks. Muscles help the neck move while ligaments keep vertebra stabilized. Nerves in the neck send signals to the brain and then throughout the body.
Types of Neck Pain
Neck pain ranges from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing pain. Other types of pain may accompany neck pain, including pain in the shoulders or arms, headache, tingling, or weakness. Some people may experience pain in the back as well as the neck.
A stiff neck, loss of mobility and decreased range of motion are all common in patients afflicted with neck pain. Stress may make neck pain worse. Some patients may become dizzy when gazing upward.
Common Neck Pain Causes
Neck pain often results from muscle strain, and usually resolves within a few weeks. Other common causes of neck pain which may not resolve without medical intervention include:
- Degenerated disks
- Herniated disks
- Joint abnormalities
- Pinched nerves
- Poor posture
- Spinal stenosis
If neck pain results from a motor vehicle accident, fall or some other type of trauma, it is important for individuals to medical attention from a neck pain doctor in Tarpon Springs immediately. In rare cases, tumors may cause neck pain.
How a Tarpon Springs Neck Pain Doctor Can Help
A doctor will perform an examination and take a patient’s medical history. The patient must tell the doctor what types of movements worsen the pain. The doctor may perform various diagnostic tests to pinpoint the pain source, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Blood tests may reveal possible infection.
Most patients respond well to conservative, custom-tailored therapies. These include neck exercises, stretching, massage, and in some cases, temporarily wearing soft traction collars. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) will usually provide pain relief, although doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants or pain patches for short-term use.
Topical over-the-counter pain cream is often helpful. Neck pain recurrence is common, so patients must keep up with exercises to prevent the problem from returning. For patients whose pain does not respond over time to conservative treatment, other therapies may be necessary. These may include steroid injections in the affected area to relieve significant pain for the long-term. Only in the most severe cases is surgery an option, and that usually involves some form of cervical instability.
If you are suffering from neck pain, contact a Tarpon Springs neck pain doctor today to make an appointment for an examination.